Mashable editor Jim Roberts on how he approaches the news

Gigaom

When Mashable editor-in-chief Jim Roberts joined the site a year ago after a couple of decades working for the New York Times, some were surprised that the veteran journalist would go to a new-media upstart, especially one that wasn’t known for its high-quality journalism. But Roberts told a group of Canadian journalists Monday night that he has no regrets about his decision, and that the way Mashable approaches the news — as a social activity — is the way that content works now.

While media outlets like the New York Times spend hours thinking about what stories should go on the front page, and where to put them, the front page of Mashable is almost entirely automated, Roberts said: stories that are being shared heavily — based on the company’s proprietary Velocity ranking — show up highest, although editors can pin specific stories to the page if necessary.

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